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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Good Growth DeKalb ends legal battle to stop Walmart at Suburban Plaza

Good Growth DeKalb members regularly protested near the site of the proposed redevelopment.
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Good Growth DeKalb members regularly protested near the site of the proposed redevelopment.
Good Growth DeKalb, the citizen's group that waged a public campaign and legal battle to try and block Selig Enterprises' plan to redevelop Suburban Plaza with a Walmart anchor store, is ending the fight.

The group yesterday announced in a statement that it was ending its legal battle over the proposal but said it will continue to advocate for changes to the county's zoning code. From the statement:

Faced with increasingly limited legal options, we accepted an invitation to meet with Selig Enterprises, owner of Suburban Plaza, on April 17. This was a difficult decision and a difficult process and, while we continue to believe a Walmart is wholly unsuited to this location, our legal battle is now over.

In exchange for agreeing not to pursue further legal action against DeKalb County over the granting of the Walmart building permit, we were able to obtain some relief for the individual plaintiffs whose homes are adjacent to the plaza. We also negotiated gains for the community, including a commitment from Selig to contribute a significant amount of money for a sidewalk along Medlock Road between North Decatur Road and Church Street. In addition, Selig Enterprises will arrange a meeting between Good Growth DeKalb and Walmart to discuss issues of importance to the community.

Moreover, as a result of our legal fight, DeKalb County has confirmed that it has never staffed or operated the Technical Board Appeals that the County Code of Ordinances establishes as the review panel for many issues, including building permits. It is our hope that this admission will lead to better and more efficient governance and management of our county in the future in accordance with our laws.

It also means that the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza - and the Walmart - can move forward.

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